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Film “Bathanti” to be shown Nov. 25

BOONE—The Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series will screen the film “Bathanti,” a documentary about N.C. Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti, on Monday, Nov. 25, at Appalachian State University.

View larger imageJoseph Bathanti’s former elementary school in Pittsburgh is among the places inspiring the writer’s work that are visited in the documentary “Bathanti.” (Photo by Catherine Altice)View larger imageN.C. Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti reads from his work during the making of the documentary “Bathanti.” Pictured with him is soundman David Friday. (Photo by Catherine Altice)View larger imageFilmmaker Kevin Balling (Photo by Catherine Altice)

The showing begins at 7 p.m. in the Greenbriar Theater of Plemmons Student Union. “Bathanti” is one hour and 12 minutes long. This event is free and the public is invited.

Bathanti is an award-winning author originally from Pittsburgh who has published numerous books of poetry, the novels “East Liberty” and “Coventry” and another to be published in 2014, and a book of short stories, “The High Heart.” He is currently a professor of creative writing at Appalachian, director of the Writing in the Field program and Writer-in-Residence for the Watauga Global Community.

During the film, the audience will travel to the places that have inspired Bathanti’s poetry, novels, short stories and essays. From the streets of Pittsburgh, to the rural landscapes of North Carolina, “Bathanti” reveals the writer’s style, inspirations and influences.

The film’s producer, Kevin Balling, is a retired electronic media/broadcasting professor in the Department of Communication at Appalachian. He taught courses in television, video and audio production and retired from Appalachian in 2011 after 29 years of teaching. He has been producing independent videos for 30 years.

“I’ve always wanted to collaborate with a writer. I am a documentary filmmaker, and the creative and artistic possibilities of combining the documentary form with fiction writing have always been intriguing to me,” Balling said.

“The film allowed me to blend the elements of the documentary, like interviews and archival footage, with the looser interpretation of fiction and poetry. Ultimately though, it was Joseph’s poetry, novels and short stories that provided the inspiration.”

Balling’s previous films include 2004’s “Hemp and the Rule of Law” and 1986’s “Doc and Merle.”

Parking is free on campus after 5 p.m. Recommended is the Library Parking Deck on College Street (from King Street, turn down College Street at the First Baptist Church), which opens to the public after 5:30 p.m. To reach Plemmons Student Union, cross College Street and follow the walkway between the chiller plant and the University Bookstore, passing the Post Office and entering the student union on the second floor.

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